Rangers hold on to top spot

Updated: April 23, 2012, 10:56 PM ET


The Texas Rangers have won nine of their past 10 games and went 5-1 last week to easily stay in the top spot in our MLB Power Rankings for Week 4.

The Detroit Tigers, despite losing three of four to the Rangers this past weekend, remain No. 2 after going 4-3 last week.

The New York Yankees flip-flopped spots from a week ago, as the Yankees rose one spot to No. 3 and the St. Louis Cardinals fell one position to No. 4. The Los Angeles Dodgers (No. 5) round out the top five.

Tell us what you think about this week's Power Rankings: Use the hashtag #ESPNMLBPOWER or join the discussion on Facebook.

This week's voters were Jim Bowden of ESPN Insider, Tim Kurkjian of ESPN The Magazine, David Schoenfield of the SweetSpot Blog Network/ESPN.com and Jayson Stark of ESPN.com. Nearly all team comments come courtesy of the fan bloggers on the SweetSpot Blog Network. Meanwhile, you can rank the teams yourself.

2012 Power Rankings: April 23

Last Week: 1
As if brandishing the best record and run differential in baseball weren't enough already, the Rangers have now won 27 of their past 32 regular-season games dating back to last September. -- Joey Matschulat: Baseball Time in Arlington

Last Week: 2
Detroit welcomed arguably the best team in baseball into its cathedral this past weekend and lost three of four games. The Tigers' record has now fallen to 10-6, but with a team OBP of only .306, one wonders what could happen when their offense wakes up from its Southeast Michigan hibernation. -- Josh Worn: Walkoff Woodward
Last Week: 4
The Yankees showed everyone this week they have an amazing offense after recording an incredible comeback victory over the Red Sox, but their starting rotation has the second-worst ERA (5.84) in the AL so far. They'll have to improve their pitching to start winning consistently. -- Rob Abruzzese: Bronx Baseball Daily
Last Week: 3
The Cardinals' starting rotation averaged 3.14 fielding independent pitching last week, paced by Kyle Lohse's 1.59 in two starts, to help the club to two more series wins. -- Matt Philip: Fungoes

Last Week: 5
Ted Lilly, who gave up 27 home runs in his first 150 innings pitched last season (one every 5.55 innings), has not allowed a homer in his past 55 1/3 innings. -- Jon Weisman: Dodger Thoughts

Last Week: 6
The Nats may be buoyed by a 6-2 record in one-run games, but the majors' leading pitching staff (2.34 ERA) would have them in first place regardless of luck. -- Harper Gordek: Nationals Baseball
Last Week: 13
For the second week in a row, the Braves put together a five-game winning streak, this time posting a plus-31 run differential. The lone dull spot to this point has been Jair Jurrjens and his 12 earned runs in 13 1/3 innings pitched. -- Kevin Orris: Capitol Avenue Club

Last Week: 8
The bizarro-world Rays are 9-7 despite their pitching and defense rather than because of their pitching and defense. -- Mark Heilig: The Ray Area
Last Week: 12
The Phillies are on a similar pace -- record-wise -- to their 2008 championship club, but the two teams could not possibly feel more disparate. -- Paul Boye: Crashburn Alley
Last Week: 11
The Blue Jays were 4-2 last week. The good: Drew Hutchison won his MLB debut, no blown saves and a triple play. The bad: They were outscored 24-13 in three games at home by the division rival Rays, and closer Sergio Santos went on the DL with shoulder inflammation. -- Matthias Koster: Mop-Up Duty
Last Week: 9
Philip Humber's comeback trail includes a stop at Safeco Field, with the franchise's second perfect game in the past four seasons. Third baseman Brent Morel's struggles intensify … he now has 22 strikeouts in 51 at-bats to go along with a .342 OPS. -- Diane Firstman: Value Over Replacement Grit
Last Week: 7
The D-backs are glad they held on to Gerardo Parra after signing Jason Kubel. Injuries to Chris Young and Justin Upton thrust Parra back into the lineup, and he hit his first career grand slam on Sunday to help break the team's five-game losing skid. -- Diane Firstman: Value Over Replacement Grit
Last Week: 14
The loss of Brian Wilson (leading to a closer by committee) and having Aubrey Huff at second base was a poor end to a week that started well when the Giants took two of three from Philadelphia. They have to battle through another five games on the road -- including Monday's doubleheader forced by a Sunday rainout in New York -- before returning home to face divisional rival San Diego on Friday. -- Chris Martinez: Bay City Ball
Last Week: 10
After a hot start, the Mets have lost four of their past six and have dropped to third place in the NL East. David Wright continues to swing a hot stick, and his next RBI will make him the team's all-time leader in that category. -- Joe Janish: Mets Today
Last Week: 21
Hanley Ramirez is starting to look like the guy we called "one of the best shortstops in the game" a few years back. A couple of homers by Ramirez helped lead the Marlins to a three-game sweep of the Cubs last week. -- Dave Gershman: Marlins Daily
Last Week: 23
A funny thing happened on the way to the West -- the Indians started winning. They went 7-2 on their first road trip of the season, including a sweep of the Royals and taking two of three from the Mariners and A's. -- Susan Petrone: It's Pronounced Lajaway

Last Week: 17
It was another rough week for the Angels, but the team did manage to win its first series of the season. The bullpen continues to struggle, but the starting rotation seems to be coming along; see strong starts from Jered Weaver, Dan Haren, C.J. Wilson and Jerome Williams this past week. -- Hudson Belinsky: Halos Daily

Last Week: 18
The first three weeks of the season have been a microcosm of what to expect over 162 games for the O's … success against the bottom third of the league, struggle against the top third and inconsistency against the middle third. A low- to mid-70s win total and a fourth-place ceiling each remain likely. -- Nick Faleris: Camden Depot

Last Week: 19
Rockies fans are feeling good after winning two of three on the road in Milwaukee, and the team is in second place in the NL West. With the team headed to Pittsburgh to start the week, the good times should continue to roll. -- Travis Lay: Blake Street Bulletin
Last Week: 16
After being such a constant in the setup role last year, Francisco Rodriguez has really struggled to open 2012. He gave up two runs and the lead in an inning against Colorado on Sunday, and he now owns a 6.75 ERA and a brutal -0.73 WPA (win probability added) in just nine appearances. -- Jack Moore: Disciples of Uecker
Last Week: 20
In his first nine innings of work in 2012, flamethrower Aroldis Chapman had allowed no runs, three hits and struck out 17 of 30 hitters he had faced without walking a single batter -- yet he is unable to pitch in relief on consecutive days. Someone please remind us again: Why isn't this guy in Cincinnati's starting rotation? -- Chad Dotson: Redleg Nation

Last Week: 22
Over the course of their past five games, the Mariners blew an eight-run lead, threw away a magnificent start by Felix Hernandez, allowed Philip Humber to go 27-up, 27-down, and were swept at the hands of the White Sox. -- Jon Shields: Pro Ball NW
Last Week: 24
Remember the beer-league softball A's? Oakland went 11-for-13 in steal attempts last week and lead the AL in that department despite having a .277 on-base percentage that bests only Seattle and Pittsburgh. -- Jason Wojciechowski: Beaneball
Last Week: 15
Red alert! Iceberg straight ahead! It's been the absolute worst start possible for a Red Sox team coming off what happened last year. I never imagined April 23 as the date I would start to hear talk of, 'How much more before Bobby V gets fired?' but it's happening already. -- Troy Patterson: Fire Brand of the AL
Last Week: 28
Despite having a 2.63 ERA, Erik Bedard is already 0-4 on the season. But he's gotten little run support as the Pirates have scored a combined three runs in his four starts. -- ESPN.com
Last Week: 29
Going 3-4 on a tough road trip through New York and Tampa would feel like an accomplishment had the Twins not started out 2-7. -- Nick Nelson: Twins Daily
Last Week: 26
Carlos Lee has really come crashing back to earth after his great start to the year. He was batting .344 with nine RBIs after the first eight games; in eight games since then, he's 4-for-32 (.125) with one extra-base hit and two RBIs. -- Austin Swafford: Austin's Astros 290 Blog
Last Week: 25
The Royals are the first team to open the season 0-9 at home since the '95 Marlins. As of Sunday, they have lost 10 in a row, marking their sixth double-digit losing streak in the past eight years. -- Craig Brown: Royals Authority
Last Week: 27
The Cubs traded Marlon Byrd to the Red Sox over the weekend to continue the veteran exodus in Chicago. -- Joe Aiello: View from the Bleachers

Last Week: 30
After losing eight of nine, the Padres won the last two games of their series against the Phillies. San Diego's bats (.214 average, third worst in majors) next face the Nationals and their majors-leading 2.34 ERA and .202 opponent batting average at Petco Park. -- Diane Firstman: Value Over Replacement Grit